Heroism of a Pioneer Woman

In Henry Howe, The Great West (New York: George F. Tuttle, 1860), facing page 157.

A tableau of frontier violence. This image accompanied the tale of a 1791 attack on the John Merrill home in Kentucky in which Mrs. Merrill killed five attackers with her ax. Along with stories of white settlers taken captive by American Indians, images like this portrayed settlers as victims of Indian aggression and celebrated the strength of settler women as a sign of the strength of the young American nation.

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